None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe, 1933-1948

None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe, 1933-1948

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By Irving Abella and Harold Troper
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2012
World Rights
384 Pages 8 Images
ISBN 9781442614079
Published Aug 2012
Online discount: 15%
 $32.95    $28.01
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442663855
Published Aug 2012
Online discount: 24%
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Winner of the National Jewish Book Award (Holocaust Category)

Winner of the Canadian Historical Association John A. Macdonald Prize

Featured in The Literary Review of Canada 100: Canada’s Most Important Books

[This] is a story best summed up in the words of an anonymous senior Canadian official who, in the midst of a rambling, off-the-record discussion with journalists in 1945, was asked how many Jews would be allowed into Canada after the war … ‘None,’ he said, ‘is too many.’

From the Preface

One of the most significant studies of Canadian history ever written, None Is Too Many conclusively lays to rest the comfortable notion that Canada has always been an accepting and welcoming society. Detailing the country’s refusal to offer aid, let alone sanctuary, to Jews fleeing Nazi persecution between 1933 and 1948, it is an immensely bleak and discomfiting story – and one that was largely unknown before the book’s publication.

Irving Abella and Harold Troper’s retelling of this episode is a harrowing read not easily forgotten: its power is such that, ‘a manuscript copy helped convince Ron Atkey, Minister of Employment and Immigration in Joe Clark’s government, to grant 50,000 “boat people” asylum in Canada in 1979, during the Southeast Asian refugee crisis’ (Robin Roger, The Literary Review of Canada). None Is Too Many will undoubtedly continue to serve as a potent reminder of the fragility of tolerance, even in a country where it is held as one of our highest values.

Irving Abella is the J. Richard Shiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry and a professor in the Department of History at York University.

Harold Troper is professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. The co-author of None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews (with Irving Abella), his most recent book is The Defining Decade: Identity, Politics, and the Canadian Jewish Community in the 1960s.

Introduction to New Edition



  1. Where They Could Not Enter
  2. The Line Must be Drawn Somewhere
  3. Der Feter Yiuv ist bei uns
  4. The Children Who Never Came
  5. Ottawa or Bermuda? A Refugee Conference
  6. In the Free and Civilized World
  7. One Wailing Cry
  8. A Pleasant Voyage
  9. Conclusion


Note on Sources



“A brilliant work of history.”

Leonard Dinnerstein, American Jewish History

“Irving Abella and Harold Troper have done a superb job of unearthing this sorry chapter in our hidden history. The general outlines were dimly known before, but by exhaustively pursuing primary sources they have documented the details with chilling precision.”

William French, The Globe and Mail

“[A] heart-rending book.”

Carol Goar, The Toronto Star

“An exceedingly powerful and detailed examination of the application of an illiberal immigration policy by an equally illiberal government so as to exclude from this country the oppressed, persecuted Jews...Abella and Troper have produced an enormously vigorous and diligently prepared description and analysis of what must be the most inhumane period in the history of Canadian immigration policy.”

Gerald E. Dirks, Canadian Journal of Political Science

“The definitive study of our pre-war treatment of Jews.”

Bob Harvey, The Ottawa Citizen

‘If Canada and particularly its immigration policies now indeed live up to its positive image, this book was an important catalyst of the change. It remains as relevant as it was thirty years ago.’

Walter D. Kamphoefner, Society for German-American Studies vol 47:2013